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Florida Man Claims Self-Defense After Shooting Girlfriend in the Back 4 Times: "I Had to Put Her Down"

Richard Raciak was arrested for killing his longtime girlfriend Allison Sheehan in Orlando, Florida.

While laws vary on a state-by-state basis, virtually the only excusable reason for killing another person is in cases of self-defense. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, in criminal law, self-defense is defined as the "justification for inflicting serious harm on another person on the ground that the harm was inflicted as a means of protecting oneself." In other words, killing someone is not a criminal act when the person "reasonably" believes that he or someone else may be in danger of losing their life or suffering serious bodily injury and "killing the assailant is necessary to avoid the peril."

Last week, a man was arrested in Orlando, Florida, claiming that he killed his longtime girlfriend in self-defense – despite shooting her several times while her back was toward him. Keep reading to learn what happened.

Richard Raciak Confessed to Shooting His Longtime Girlfriend 4 Times


On Monday, Richard Raciak, 48, was booked for first-degree murder with a firearm, according to a statement released by the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Fox 35 Orlando. Officials maintain he shot 46-year-old Allison Sheehan, his girlfriend of eight years, while her back was turned to him.

He Claims It Was Self-Defense


According to the arrest affidavit, after shooting her, he texted a photo of her body to his father and brother. His father called 911, telling authorities that he first believed his son was joking when he received a text that he had shot her. However, after reiterating that he did it in self-defense, he realized it was not a "joke." The text read: "Allison was attacking me I had to fire shots."

Police arrived on the scene at 12:39 am on Sunday, finding Sheehan in the master bedroom with multiple gunshot wounds. She was alive at the time but later died at Osceola Regional Hospital.

Her Brother Says She Was a "Great Mom"


"Probably the most devastating call that a human could ever get. It was just absolutely awful," said Dennis Kastanis, Sheehan's brother. "She was loving. She was a great mom. That's the saddest part of this whole situation is that there's a little boy involved, and he's going to be without his mommy. And she was really, really just a great mom. And I think it's really important for everyone to know how much she loved her son."

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The Shooting Happened After a Birthday Party for Their Son

Orange County Sheriff's Office

According to Raciak, there was a birthday party for the couple's son at their home that day, and he and Sheehan had been drinking all night and got into an argument when the guests left. He claims she stomped on his damaged foot and "came at" him, pushing him into a piece of furniture and forcing him to fall. 

He retrieved a gun from his bedside table, and at one point, Raciak said he became angry and wanted to "put her down." He confessed to shooting her four times. 

"Based on the information we have, he's a monster," Sheehan's brother said, "and what he did is robbed many people of a special person." Raciak was arrested and booked into the Orange County jail. He is being held without bond. 

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